From a very early age I have loved to sing and perform for audiences. I would spend hours competing with my sister in the car (in Connecticut) emulating artists like Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, George Michael, and Prince, but it was never just about the music itself. I often found myself smiling and having such an amazing feeling inside when I would see the positive reactions my audiences had and the uplifting effect my voice would have on individuals by evoking all sorts of radiant emotions.
At the age of 12, my mother moved the family out to Los Angeles because she wanted to pursue an acting career, and a few years later when I entered Beverly Hills High School, I was taking on a major role in the drama department and playing characters like Danny in “Grease,” and Joseph in “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” I also found myself as the lead tenor soloist in the advanced madrigal choir performing at Lincoln Center in New York and caroling around the city during the holidays.
Although it was the music that drove me, it was also the constant change and the fast-paced environment. I found myself so excited to be a part of a group involved in productions where there were last-minute changes, so much variety in the musical performances, and many different personalities working together to create this beautiful outcome and affect people’s lives in a gratifying way. It didn’t take me long to make the decision that I wanted to pursue singing and acting professionally. I jumped into the entertainment business without knowing anything about the corporate side (simply possessing the raw talent), and my career started to move pretty quickly. I booked a couple of small roles in film and started working with world-renowned songwriter, Diane Warren and continued to find myself enjoying the adrenaline pumping through my body as I was being thrown into difficult rooms with prominent producers and casting directors. After years of hard work and countless songs written, I came down to a couple of defining moments: I was up for one of the lead roles of both television shows, “Friday Night Lights” and “Glee.” The pressure was on, the competition was great, but the process was completely enjoyable. In the end, I came down to the final two for both roles – Cory Monteith ended up getting cast as Finn on Glee, and after years in the business and coming so close, I decided it was time to take a break and wanted to focus on a career where I could experience that same high-speed movement, working with a great team, and the feeling of helping people that has always been a necessity to me in any line of work that I do.
During the years that I was focused on entertainment and music, my sister had entered a career in healthcare advertising. She would often tell me of the excitement that she was experiencing working with the pharmaceutical companies, developing strategy and tactics every year, learning so much more about science and medicine, and being able to work with such great colleagues on a daily basis to create so many different deliverables. At this time of my life, sensing the need for a transition – the pharmaceutical advertising industry sounded very appealing. I believed it would fulfill the need I had to be working on projects to help patients all over the world have better knowledge and access to the medications they needed and that extended people’s lives and making sure physicians were being kept up to date with new data and movements forward with many different types of medications.
I came to interview in New York and enjoyed the fast-paced agency environment and the teamwork among all of the folks working together, and it reminded me so much of what I had already experienced in the entertainment business. The agency was run very much like a show or a performance. Everyone was playing a role – some roles like account executives were more like the actors working in the front lines facing their clients (their audience), while others, like writers and PMs, were like producers. And all of us were working together to accomplish our ultimate goal depending on whatever deliverables were needed at a specific time. So I made the decision to have an adventure, come to New York and jump into the pharma advertising business. Once again, I’m “green” in an industry, but it’s exciting! It’s a challenge and it’s very similar to a cold read and improvising during a performance while I’m learning the ropes of the business and more about all of my colleagues. I can’t express how grateful I am and how lucky I feel to have been given the chance to show what I am capable of at the agency and to be working with such knowledgeable, experienced, intelligent, and fun people. As I move to a new chapter in my life and career in pharma I will always have the music inside of me and will always love to perform, but I will now be a cheerleader and performer for my team--our products and our brands--while being a force for good health at DDB Health!